Dairy Queen Franchise Cost and Information

Franchise: Dairy Queen DQ Orange Julius

Franchising Since: 1944

Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.

Number of Units: 6,390

About the Franchise

The DQ  brand is the worldwide treat leader, and it only gets better when you combine it with the Orange Julius brand, the first name in pure refreshment and a consumer favorite for over 80 years.


All the DQ favorites are served — like the iconic Blizzard Treat, MooLatté frozen coffee flavored beverages and DQ Cakes — plus the full line of Orange Julius fruit-blended beverages. Welcome customers with the warm, sweet aroma of made-fresh-daily waffle bowls and cones, which are served plain or dipped in chocolate.

A DQ Orange Julius restaurant can be developed as a freestanding building, as well as in strip center end-caps, dual-use buildings, travel centers, street-front locations or other venues. We find the best opportunities in high-traffic areas of quality regional or super-regional malls. We require 600-800 square feet inline, in impulse treat locations, at the throat of a food court or in 250-square-foot wet kiosk locations with nearby dry storage available.

Financial Assistance

Although they may have done so in the past, ADQ (the franchisor) and its affiliates generally do not offer financing arrangements or similar assistance to franchisees, except as explained. Neither ADQ nor its affiliates finance any part of the Initial Franchise Fee.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The term of the franchise agreement is 20 years or the term of the restaurant premises lease, whichever period is shorter. The franchisee has an option to renew for one additional 10 years or for the term of the renewed lease, whichever is shorter.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Dairy Queen DQ Orange Julius (2014). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Dairy Queen franchise.

Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000

The Multi-Unit Development (MUD) Fee is not included in the total below. The MUD Fee is determined by multiplying the number of DQ Treat stores you are granted the right to develop by up to $15,000, but your actual development fee could differ from this estimate.

Initial Training Fees and Costs: $650 to $6,900

Unless otherwise stated, at least two people from the store, including the franchisee’s designated manager and assistant manager must attend all initial training components.

Travel and Living Expenses for Training Programs: $5,200 to $9,600

The amount of travel and living expenses will vary depending on the number of training attendees and the types of training completed by your training attendees; these estimates assume you send three people to all four training components.

Building Construction and Leasehold Improvements: $250,000 to $600,000

The estimates include site work, buildout, mechanical, and other related fees, but do not include land costs. A street location will have approximately 1,000 to 1,800 square feet and will ordinarily be owned. A captive location will have approximately 600 to 1,200 square feet and will ordinarily be leased space.

Prepaid Rent and Security Deposit: $2,500 to $5,500

You will usually be required to pay one month base rent as a security deposit to the landlord and may be required to pay an additional security deposit under a sublease. ADQ estimates base rent for 750 square feet will be $3,500 to $7,000 or more per month, plus approximately 8% to 12% of gross sales in excess of a specified amount to which base rent is credited.

Construction Consultation Services: $0 to $7,500

ADQ requires that it consult with and assist you on all pre-opening construction and equipment installation for the franchised premises, and that you sign the construction consultation services agreement included in the disclosure document.

Building Plans, Design Intent Plans and Architectural Seal: $7,000 to $35,000

ADQ will provide you with design criteria information which should assist you, your architects, and engineers in preparing building plans. If you develop a freestanding street location, you may be required to purchase ADQ’s prototypical design intent plans for street locations if they are available, for a fee of $3,000 (which is included in your initial franchise fee for new locations).

Equipment (Including Signs and POS Systems): $210,000 to $329,000

Your investment in equipment and fixtures is highly variable for your store. The investment depends to a great extent on the size of the building or space and whether you are in a captive or street location.

Training Inventory: $2,500 to $5,000

You must purchase the training inventory used by you and your employees at your store during ADQ’s on-site opening assistance.

Opening Inventory: $5,000 to $10,000

Utility Deposits, Business Licenses and Government Charges: $3,000 to $15,000

This amount includes utility and security deposits and business licenses. Deposits are generally refundable, but license fees are not. These estimates may be significantly higher in some unique jurisdictions where local authorities may require fees in excess of $100,000 for electrical, sewer/water, and/or other miscellaneous connections.

Attorney’s Fees: $1,000 to $7,500

This amount is an estimate for attorney’s fees in connection with your purchase of the franchise and purchase or lease of the franchised premises.

Additional Funds (3 months): $40,500 to $152,300

This amount is projected to cover initial operating expenses for one store for three months, such as managerial salaries, rent, debt service, local advertising, taxes, freight, office expenses, security, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, and/or authorized music systems, but you may have additional expenses starting the business. This amount does not include hourly labor or food costs beyond the opening inventory costs listed.

ESTIMATED TOTAL: $552,350 to $1,208,300

These figures are estimates in setting up a Dairy Queen franchise and operating it for three months. It is possible to exceed costs in any of the areas above.